In ‘This Week in Cannabis’ we want to help you uncover leading cannabis news, industry insights, scientific discoveries and more. Our hope is to help educate the greater public on the many uphill battles we still need to achieve prior to legalization. There are still a lot of laws, regulations and problems that cannabis companies and consumers are faced with.

This was a good (and interesting!) week for the cannabis industry. While the first half of February seemed to feature more than its fair share of bad news, this past week had a more balanced vibe.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly what happened in the third week of February 2020.

THC: Gone Without a Trace!

Broad spectrum THC-free CBD products are growing increasingly popular. This only makes sense, if you think about it — for many consumers these products promise the best of both worlds. But do you ever wonder where all that unwanted THC goes?

Hemp is only .2-.3% THC by dry weight, but for larger CBD producers this smaller percentage adds up to a lot. Colorado’s Folium Biosciences, which supplies many leading CBD brands with bulk extracts, has resorted to hiring an outside hazmat company to dispose of their leftover THC.  

“[The Hazmat Company] comes every Friday to take the THC and mix it with an agent that makes it unrecognizable and essentially useless. And then they take it off site and dispose of it,” Folium’s director of marketing tells Project CBD.

Funnily enough, THC is legal for adult use in Colorado. But crossover between the CBD-centric hemp and THC-centric cannabis markets isn’t…so the hemp-derived THC produced by Foliym and so many others can’t be sold. Perhaps regulatory standards will allow for a less wasteful system in the future? One can only hope.

Drunk…on CBD?

CBD dosing remains an elusive subject. It is known that CBD’s bioavailability goes up when taken alongside other hemp compounds or a fatty meal but what happens when CBD is taken with 5 alcoholic drinks?

That’s the question researchers from GW Pharmaceuticals had on their mind, at least, when conducting this recent phase one study. In their initial research the answer is clear: it seems like CBD’s relatively mild side effects (like drowsiness) get slightly worse with alcohol. 

Perhaps GW Pharmaceuticals just wanted to see if a CBD-based drug would have any alcohol-related contraindications. On the plus side, pairing CBD’s neuroprotectant qualities with alcohol may not be such a bad thing. 

Legal Advancements Continue for Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis has never been more accepted than it is now. While medical cannabis has only been legal in Oklahoma since last year, residents are already clamoring for more dispensaries, more allowances, and more improvements. At least the 146,381 Oklahomans who signed up for medical cannabis care are.

And despite some bible-belt-esque proposals (one forbids dispensaries from being too close to religious institutions) the state is still making progress. House Bill 3227 legalizes home deliveries of medical cannabis, and it just passed through the House of Representatives last week. Progressive, indeed.

…But Not for Cannabis Trafficking

This one is kind of bizarre. NFL player Greg Robinson (he played for the Cleveland Browns last year) was arrested on Wednesday February 19th for possession of 157 pounds of cannabis and intent to sell it. 

ESPN reported that  Robinson and two others “were driving from Los Angeles to Louisiana in a rented sport utility vehicle on Interstate 10 through a remote section of West Texas on Monday. When they passed a Border Patrol agent with a drug-sniffing dog, the dog detected the scent of marijuana. The agent radioed ahead to the patrol checkpoint near Sierra Blanca, Texas, 83 miles southeast of El Paso.”

Robinson, who now faces up to 20 years in prison, proceeded to pay one of the other passengers to take the blame, but he refused. 

Thankfully for the rest of us, there are plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities on the legal side of the cannabis industry.

Truly High Times in Colorado

Legal cannabis continues its upward rise in Colorado. Sales in 2019 totaled 1.75 billion dollars, which marks a 13% increase from 2018. Though the top-selling month was August, state retailers sold 144 million in December alone.

In other good news, Colorado’s wholesale cannabis prices seem to be recovering. A stabilized supply chain and the aforementioned consumer demand are both to thank for that!


To Sum Things Up

So, that’s a wrap! This Week In Cannabis highlighted three important trends:

  • CBD is being validated in real-world research
  • The future is bright for both medical and recreational cannabis 
  • While black market cannabis remains quite illegal

All in all, the industry is still marching forward, one step at a time. And at Key to Cannabis, we couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of it. 

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